Why Would I Want a Q or Any Single Service Media Device?
Google announced their Q media device. It lets you stream video and music from Google’s content systems or your Android devices. It looks cool and has some nice features.Here’s the dealkiller. It only plays Google’s content.
Worse, the social sharing features are neat, but my friends and family who are almost all iPhone users can’t use them. Totally limited by the walled garden.
I haven’t bought any media from Google. There’s no reason for me to. I buy music from iTunes and Amazon. I rent or buy video from Amazon (the wife has a Prime account so we get free video). I don’t have a compelling reason to buy from Google nor do I have a compelling reason not to.The Q is not a compelling reason to buy from Google but more importantly, I don’t need yet another media device in my home.
Single service hardware devices suck.
I have content that I have ripped from CD’s, DVD’s, and Blu-ray that I store on my NAS and I want to access within my home. I am likely going to buy a Boxee Box for that very reason. With that in hand, I can access my NAS content from BoxeeBox, TV, downloaded video from Amazon, and some Hulu, from my Tivo, and Amazon instant from my TV or Blu-Ray player.
If I add more device to the mix, I’ll need an AV switch just to get more HDMI ports. And all of this is controlled via asynchronous, best-effort IR remote control. Pathetic.
Here’s what I want. A media machine that can act as a PVR and connect to the services I want to use. I want to be able to control it via an Android (or any smartphone) app. I want it to be a seamless user experience If only the equipment vendors, content distributors, and content publishers could figure out that we, the consumer, DO NOT WANT one device per service and maybe, just maybe, if they differentiated on service, they’d build customer loyalty.
I could probably get there using XMBC and MythTV, but frankly, I don’t want to have to build, manage, and maintain a media center. I have enough trouble making time to other home projects, I don’t need nor want another.
So while the Q is neat like the social sharing and control features, I’m not going to be getting one anytime soon.